The wines of Southern Rhône are dominated by Grenache, and to a lesser extent Syrah and Mourvedre. These are soulful wines, full of density and impact. Filled with notes of strawberry jam and clove; Provencal herbs, and a minerality reminiscent of warmed stones. While many excellent wines hail from lesser-known appellations like Gigondas and Vacqueryas, the most famous wine from Southern Rhône is undoubtedly Châteuneuf-du-Pape. Due to its strict yield requirements and, in general, a lack of new oak, these are prime examples of terroir driven wines; full of stones, soil, and ripe red fruit. Translated literally, the “new castle of the Pope” was the seat of the Papacy beginning in the 14th century when Pope Clement V (a Frenchman) moved the Papacy from Rome to Avignon (only a few miles from the vineyards of Châteauneuf). These are spiritual wines indeed…no matter if you’re a devout Catholic or strict atheist, one sip and you’ll be shouting for the Heavens.